Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy has appealed to the Central government to address issues relating to water, power, employment and status of Hyderabad, among others, before taking the next step on the bifurcation of the State.
“These issues need solutions. We cannot create bigger problems in our anxiety to create a new State,” he said. The Congress as a party has decided to give green signal to the formation of separate Telangana State, but it was for the Central government to address the concerns and ensure equal justice was done to people of all the three regions.
Speaking to reporters for the first time after the party announced its stand on July 31, Mr. Kiran Reddy said though the party took a stand on the issue, it was for the Centre to give clarity on the crucial issues such as water and power sharing that would have a bearing on the three regions. “The Centre should seek a debate on the issue in the Legislative Assembly only after addressing these concerns,” he said.
He replied in the negative when asked whether he was opposing the decision taken by the party leadership on Telangana. “I want the Central government to address the concerns and clarify the doubts,” was all he said.
Replying to a volley of questions, he said the existing problems would get aggravated with bifurcation as they relate to water sharing with neighbouring Karnataka, Maharashtra and Odisha. The sensitive issues needed in-depth examination for finding solutions before any decision was taken on formation of separate Telangana State. “The water projects in particular are inter-related and inter-connected while there is a lot of sentiment attached to Hyderabad by the Seemandhra people,” he said.
He traced the Telangana issue to 2001 when Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy led a delegation of 40 Telangana MLAs to Congress president Sonia Gandhi seeking a separate State. The TDP joined forces in 2008 and all other parties, barring the MIM and the CPI (M), extended their support to Telangana State. “These parties are now trying to make political capital out of Telangana,” he said.
Letter to Sonia
He defended his decision of signing to the letter addressed by Seemandhra leaders to the Congress leadership against bifurcation of the State claiming: “I have signed the letter that is addressed to our party president (Sonia Gandhi)”.
To another query on the CWC resolution in favour of Telangana, he said he was neither supporting, nor opposing the decision. “I want the high command to embark upon other processes only after the four-member high power committee headed by A.K. Antony submits its report,” he said.